Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Portsmouth coach Ian Woan tags Nwankwo Kanu a magician

Nwankwo Kanu came on over the weekend and scored the winner in Portsmouth's 1-0 win over Barnsley at Fratton Park on Saturday and first-team coach Ian Woan has tagged the former Nigeria captain, Nwankwo Kanu as a magician.

"There were a few raised eyebrows from the fans (when we brought him on), but you want your subs to make an impact. He's an absolute magician. You see him day in, day out on the training pitch and some of the things he does with the ball are phenomenal. He's a top, top professional given where he has played and the enthusiasm he gives us every week in training," the coach said.

Woan added: "His legs can't carry him for 90 minutes sometimes now. But in a game that is crying out for someone to get hold of it, you throw the big fella on and he is a magician.

"You can't get the ball off him. People get to the stage where they don't want to go and challenge him. He embarrasses you. The whole stand starts cheering, he does the step-overs - you know they're coming but you can't do anything about it. We just didn't have that and he was perfect for the situation," Woan stated.

On picking up a second straight clean sheet, Woan added: "I think it's a major plus for us. We have struggled to keep clean sheets.

"The back-line in the last two games has been the same. That has made a big difference. We've done a lot of work with them on the training field. Continuity is a big thing with the back four. You need to know what everyone is doing. When you pick the same back four, it makes a big difference to them."

However, Kanu, while down playing the coach's compliments, stressed that his goal was to always give his best for the team.

"I'm happy with what he (Woan) said about me but I'm just doing the job I am being paid to do," Kanu said over the phone on Sunday.

This Day

Related stories: Nwankwo Kanu to release biopic and book after World Cup

Nwankwo Kanu to retire from international football after World Cup


  1. Haba! Kanu is still playing? The guy no wan retire

  2. Mehn...de guy dey prove too legit to quit!